I first learned to read upside down. Before that, I was pretending I could read because I memorised my favourite stories and knew the right moment to turn the page.
When I was a kid, I used to read my favourite books over and over again. Both The Three Musketeersand The Lord of the Ringsgot my parents worried because I would start reading the book again as soon as I finished it. I don’t do it anymore, because there are so many books I want to read I don’t even have time to read them all once.
When I was about 10, I was totally convinced that a photograph would smell of my little girl’s perfume if I put it on before the picture is taken. My dad is to blame.
I wanted to become a dentist, a musketeer, and an archaeologist (well, Indiana Jones, to be precise).
Then I spent 5 years studying law at one of the top legal schools in Russia.
I loved studying the law. I hated it when I started practising.
I moved to London when I was 25 because I wanted something new.
I didn’t have a plan. I just went with the flow.
I met my husband here. I saw him in my dream a few days before we first met. It was love at first sight.
I wear jeans all the time. I rarely wear make-up. I tend to buy lots of pretty accessories only to never wear them, because I forget to put them on.
I love sweet stuff and I hate exercise. I eat when I’m stressed, and I eat when I’m bored, so it’s not being easy! The only form of exercise I actually enjoy is swimming. Oh, and skiing once a year.
I am very romantic, but in a strange sort of way. I don’t celebrate the Valentine’s and I don’t remember the date of my wedding anniversary. Neither does my husband. Our friends and family remind us.
But I can admire a simple daisy, go crazy over a tiny handmade pendant and cry over a beautiful sunset. My husband and I can drive 70 miles just to have a dinner in that pub we spotted somewhere on the coast.
I didn’t take up photography until I was 26. I thought I’m going to become an arts manager (and I got my MA). I didn’t think my pictures were good enough until I was 28 (frankly, I didn’t even think about my pictures that much). I thought I was going to have a career in marketing and design. Now I’m 30, and I still believe I have a long way to go, and that’s exactly what I am planning to do. Because after 10 years of false starts I finally know exactly where I want to go.